One of America’s most influential architects called Chicago home for over 30 years, where he left his mark on the city’s skyline. Architecture critics found it ironic that van der Rohe didn’t live in a building of his own design; instead, he chose to reside in the Campbell Apartments, an updated version of an Italian Renaissance palazzo designed by Robert S. De Golyer in 1917. Although he briefly contemplated moving into his influential 860–880 Lake Shore Drive building a few blocks away, van der Rohe said in an interview that “he feared tenants would complain to him personally. He’d rather look out his window at the two modernist towers than be stuck inside them.” While some might find Mies’s steel-and-glass structures to be minimal and austere, it’s hard to deny the impact his pioneering tall residential designs had on our built environment.

200 E Pearson St APT 3E, $825,000

A unit in the building where Van der Rohe lived has hit the market for $825,000. In 1938, the architect left Germany and lived in various hotel rooms before settling here a few years later. An elegant six-story building with two condos per floor, there are beautiful classic details throughout the cozy space, pretty much the complete opposite to Mies’s own open-plan designs. This vintage yet renovated half-floor condo comes with two en-suite bedrooms, a large butler’s pantry, a possible third bedroom or office right off the kitchen, and in-unit laundry. It’s located directly across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art and just steps away from Lake Michigan and all the hustle and bustle of the Magnificent Mile.  

860 N Lake Shore Dr APT 20L, $649,000

One of van der Rohe’s best-known projects was 860–880 North Lake Shore Drive, commissioned by developer Herbert Greenwald and constructed between 1949–51. This southwest corner unit was reinterpreted by an architect who transformed what was a three-bedroom into a bright and airy two-bedroom residence. Miesian details are everywhere from functional millwork to cork flooring, but the most dominant feature is a custom-designed travertine dining table. As part of a cooperative, the owners pay a monthly assessment that includes real estate taxes, utilities, maintenance expenses, and the property’s mortgage.

900 N Lake Shore Dr APT 2310, $1,299,000

The success of 860–880 Lake Shore Drive led to Mies designing the Esplanade Apartments. Built between 1953–56, the building has a sleeker dark-tinted glass curtain wall compared to its neighbor to the south. Converted into condos in 1979, former residents include van der Rohe’s grandson, Dirk Lohan, as well as other well-known architects like Stanley Tigerman and Brigitte Peterhans. In this particular listing, three individual units were combined into a large four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with two full walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. Imagine waking up from one of the bedrooms with endless views of the lake and natural light. 

330 W Diversey Pkwy APT 2803, $475,000

Lakeview’s Commonwealth Plaza was another investment by van der Rohe’s most important client, Herbert Greenwald, whose death in 1959 stopped development of two additional towers planned for the site. Located on the top floor, this loft-style one-bedroom, two-bathroom condo has fantastic views of the lake, downtown skyline, and neighboring Lincoln Park. The full-amenity buildings come with $1,412 monthly HOA fees that cover an outdoor pool, tennis court, 24-hour security, and heat/water/air conditioning. There is a long wait for parking but this unit comes with one space in the attached garage (but you’re not so lucky if you like a variety of pets — only cats are allowed in this complex).

2400 N Lakeview Ave APT 1205, $459,900

Our final property happens to be the last residential high-rise created by van der Rohe in Chicago. The 30-story, 264-unit building dates from 1963 with its $960 monthly HOA fees covering services like heat and air conditioning as well as a 24-hour security and on-site manager. This southwest two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit currently listed at $459,900 has been newly renovated. Not only can residents enjoy an outdoor pool but there are amazing views of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan from the building’s rooftop.